Nutritional disorders such as anemia, vitamin A or iodine deficiency are frequent in Tajikistan and remain a major concern. Therefore, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MoHSP) Tajikistan conduct a national survey for the evaluation of the most important indicators of micronutrient deficiencies in 2016. Swiss TPH has been contracted by UNICEF Tajikistan for overseeing the data collection, analysis and report writing.
Objectives and Aims
The overall aim of the National Nutrition Survey Tajikistan 2016 was to assess the nutrition and micronutrient status of children and women, determine risk factors for deficiencies, compare the findings with the 2009 survey and to determine possible strategies for improvement.
The specific objectives of the survey were:
- to identify levels of anaemia, iron status, Vitamin A status, inflammation marker (CRP) and iodine deficiency in non-pregnant women of reproductive age (15-49 years) and in children (6-59 months);
- to assess Vitamin D level of children 6-59 months;
- to assess folic acid levels in non-pregnant women of reproductive age;
- to evaluate feeding patterns among infants and young children (0 to 24 months);
- to conduct anthropometric measurements among children 0-59 months and non-pregnant women of reproductive age.
Methods / Approaches
The survey was based on a national cross-sectional cluster sample design. The survey instruments (questionnaire) were developed based on the questionnaire used in 2009. The data collection was done as face-to-face interviews using tablets and electronic data collection supported on Open Data Kit (ODK) software. In addition to the interviews biological samples (blood and urine) were collected from children 6<59 months and non-pregnant women 15-49 years for laboratory analysis.
The results of this survey are forthcoming by July 2017. More generally, they are providing the Government of Tajikistan and partners the necessary evidence to design programmes that effectively address and scale up access to improved nutrition in the most vulnerable population of young children and women of reproductive age.
The survey covered 2,160 children aged 6-59 months and 2,160 non-pregnant women aged 15-49 years. In addition feeding patterns among infants and young children and anthropometric measurements are conducted also for children <6 months living in those households.
Based on the survey results, the most vulnerable population of young children and women of reproductive age will be targeted by upcoming nutrition interventions in Tajikistan.